Ask yourself: how much do you need to know about the inner workings of local government in Flemington, New Jersey? If the answer is “I’d rather know about Flemington, NJ than what’s going on in town in DC right now”, then this may be the sort of soothing show you’re looking for.
But if you’re looking for standup comedy, look elsewhere. This show is what it advertises itself to be- no more and no less.
Joey Novick spent 15 years as the only Democratic city councilman in his city, and he has some well rehearsed stories to tell. He’s a raconteur, though, rather than a standup, and the few jokes woven into his routine are all rather shopworn. But he’s an affable fellow, the sort of gentleman who tells overlong stories at parties: you know immediately what the punchline will be but he’s so nice you hate to disappoint him by leaving.
Comedian Elected to Town Council in New Jersey
closes July 13, 2017
Details and tickets
His routine is a one-joke premise- indeed, the title alone tells you pretty much all you’ll hear during the 45 minute set. It’s pleasant, but not gut-bustingly funny.
It’s not helped much by the venue: the upstairs room at Pursuit Wine Bar is not only quite dark (even during the afternoon show I attended), but the noise from the downstairs bar is clearly audible. It’s not a gentle murmur, either, but whole conversations in direct competition with anyone (such as Mr. Novick). A mic was set up, and Mr Novick used it for a few minutes, but almost immediately set it aside for the rest of the set, instead speaking to the audience unamplified. That was a mistake that no professional comic would have made- in order to laugh, the audience needs to hear you.
There aren’t swelling waves of laughter to be had here, just gentle little eddies of smiles and nodding agreement. Mr Novick is good with an audience and at connecting with a group of people- you can see why he was elected- but he wouldn’t be voted Comic of the Year.